Notes on Her Colour
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: 23rd May 2023
Publisher: RANDOM HOUSE AUSTRALIA
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.4 x 2.8
Weight (kg): 0.45
'Gosh, what a wonder this book is. It's about race, yes of course. But it's about so much more as well. It's a tale of mothers and daughters, of Florida hurricanes and the madness of music. It's about code switching in ways that you've never considered, and about what it means to be of a place and of a people. Jennifer Neal has written a book drenched in hurt and magic, love and grief. Read it twice, because a book like this comes along rarely.'
'It wasn't long before my wet and sticky fascination with life beyond the walls of our home could be read all over my face like soot.'
'The Florida that American-Australian author Jennifer Neal brings to life in her book, thick with humidity and vulnerable to catastrophic weather events-where 'survival is a season'-is the evocative backdrop to this story of trauma, grief, queer love and transcendent joy. ' SONIA NAIR, B + P
Gabrielle has inherited the ability to change the colour of her skin from her mother, Tallulah. They guard their power carefully within the walls of a home that's been bleached completely white. This is the doing of Gabrielle's father, Robert. After battling his executive-level colleagues all day at the office as a man of colour, he needs everything in his house to be white - including his wife and daughter.
This is a house with secrets. Robert does not know that Talullah keeps a rainbow of spices stored in baggies and sewn into the lining of her handbag. Nor does he know that when he's away, Gabrielle and Tallulah let their skin pass through a spectrum of bright, dark, rebellious colours. But when Gabrielle discovers a love for the piano, she also finds she can change her skin, and find joy and acceptance, without her mother nearby. Gabrielle is learning of a world beyond her family's carefully-coded existence, and her mother is watching.
The Colour of Her Blood is a novel where the strange and surreal meets the kitsch of Florida as it explores the dynamic of a family traumatised by racial violence in North America. It's a glittering, corrosive, witty tale about race, privilege, music and queerness.
At its heart, it's a story about a mother, told by her daughter.
About the Author
Jennifer Neal is an American-Australian author, musician, writer, cook, and occasional standup comedian (really) currently living in Berlin. Born in the US, she has also lived and worked in Japan, Spain, Mexico, Australia - and now, Germany. One of her career highlights was working with Anthony Bourdain (RIP) for Explore Parts Unknown. She works as a freelance translator and producer at Deutsche Welle, and her writing has appeared in Playboy, NPR, CNN, Gay Magazine, The Establishment, SBS, Atlas Obscura and many (many) other titles. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her essay 'In Search of Better Skies' in 2019, and she was a 2021 MacDowell Colony artist in residence. Her essay Good. White. Friends.. will be published in the anthology Could This Be Love? in August 2022 with InterKontinental Press. Notes on Her Colour is her first novel, and will be published in May 2023 with Catapult US/Penguin Random House Australia. She is currently working on her second book, My Pisces Heart- A Blaxit Story, a non-fiction exploration of Black migration movements told through the lens of her own personal experience, to be published in 2024 with Catapult. She is represented by Milly Reilly at the Jo Unwin Literary Agency in London.